FBI Denver
Public Affairs Specialist Vikki Migoya
June 11, 2024

FBI Assesses Initial Wyoming MMIP Data Collection

The FBI in recent months has undertaken a comprehensive data collection project in Wyoming to compile an accurate list of cases involving Native Americans who are missing, or unsolved homicides with Native American victims.

Beginning in February, the FBI requested assistance from law enforcement officers and agencies across Wyoming. We set up a dedicated email account and phone tip line. We publicized our efforts via Wyoming news outlets and on our social media platforms. We worked with tribal business councils for the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes, who pushed information about our efforts to their members. With the assistance and cooperation of the tribal business councils, we held in-person sessions on the Wind River Indian Reservation to encourage tribal members who had information or concerns to come forward.

We heard from eight law enforcement agencies, and we received 35 tips through our e-mail and phone hotline. From those contacts, four homicides and three missing persons cases were identified. All seven of those cases had previously been reported through appropriate law enforcement channels. We are evaluating those to ensure they were thoroughly investigated. At this time, our outreach and collection efforts have not resulted in the identification of any previously unknown cases.

“Every day FBI personnel assigned to work cases on the Wind River Indian Reservation track down leads, conduct interviews and build relationships to assist in solving crimes,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Mark Michalek. “Our Wyoming MMIP data collection efforts will not end with our initial 90-day push. We will continue to investigate reported reservation crimes, and we will continue to seek the help of those in the community as well as law enforcement partners to bring justice for victims.”

Indigenous people in Wyoming are more likely to go missing or be murdered than people of any other race or ethnicity in the state. We acknowledge that in the past, tribal members have not always been comfortable working with law enforcement, including federal authorities. The FBI recognizes these historical barriers and the continued generational trauma that exists in tribal communities.

“Native Americans have disproportionately been the victim of violent crime for decades. Tragically, these cases did not always receive proper attention from local, state and federal authorities,” said Chairman Lloyd Goggles of the Northern Arapaho Business Council. “We appreciate the FBI devoting resources to the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP), and ask that this be just the beginning of ongoing efforts to build trust, engage in open dialogue and achieve justice for Tribal communities. Victims and their families deserve nothing less.”

To that end, the FBI will continue to work with tribal communities, and with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners when it comes to MMIP cases, as well as other crimes on the Wind River Indian Reservation. We have justice as our common goal, and we will continue to investigate and advocate on behalf of Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho crime victims.